by Alan Babbitt
The ninth-ranked Hope College men's golf team took one more stride toward reclaiming the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association championship on Friday.
The Flying Dutchmen shot 4-over-par as a team for the first-round lead at the MIAA Fall Tournament and finished first by one stroke. They extended their lead in the overall standings to 44 strokes after 90 holes. Saturday's final round is scheduled to tee off at 10 a.m. at Kaufman Golf Course in Wyoming, Michigan.
Senior Josh Gibson of Grandville, Michigan (Grandville HS) and junior Daniel Settecerri of Bloomfield Hills, Michigan (Bloomfield Hills) both carded even-par 70s to lead Hope to a team score of 284. The Flying Dutchmen were one stroke better than second-place Kalamazoo College and four better than third-place Calvin College.
Gibson and Settecerri are tied for third place. They were two strokes behind first-round leader Andrew Lark of Calvin College and one behind Kalamazoo College's Nick Ludka.
At 68.8, Gibson carries the lowest individual average heading into the final round. Gibson currently holds the record for lowest MIAA average by a Hope golfer at 71.6 from the 2017 season.
Photo of Ben Kramer by Lynne Powe
Four of the top scoring averages in the MIAA belong to Hope golfers: Gibson (first), Settecerri, (third), Goble (fourth) and Kramer (sixth).
Sophomore Noah Weigle of Grandville, Michigan (Grandville) shot a 75 for the Flying Dutchmen.
Freshman Austin Zolman of Wyoming, Michigan (Grandville) had a 76.